Suck It Up. Enhance Production.

A number of folks at MLA 2011 were kind enough to mention that they’ve found my “advice” postings useful.  In the hopes of continuing to help, here’s one more before I veer back to other blog topics (children’s literature, comics, biography, music, etc.).  Today’s topic is: how do you develop a robust CV quickly? As…

How Did I Get Here? Part II: Into Professorland

In yesterday’s post, I skipped past the actual getting of the job.  (Oops.)  Today, I’ll talk about that. Oh, but enough about me.  What do you think of me? — old joke 4. To Market, to Market, to Get Me a Job In 1999, I had three interviews.  The first was pleasant enough.  The second was…

How Did I Get Here? Part I: Up from Adjuncthood

MLA’s coming up later this week.  Can you bear to read yet another advice column?  If not, then you may want to skip the following personal narrative that, yep, includes some advice (well, inasmuch as my personal example may be instructive… which it may not be). You may ask yourself: well, how did I get…

Stephen Fry vs. Language Pedants

If you’ve not already seen Matt Rogers‘ brilliant kinetic typography video of Stephen Fry‘s critique of linguistic pedantry, then you’ll want to watch it.  And if you have already seen it, then you’ll want to watch it again. Before my fellow teachers raise an objection to Stephen Fry’s injunction that writers be less constrained by…

Procrastigrading; or, How to Grade Efficiently

Not That Kind of Doctor‘s delightful post on “The Five Stages of Grading” prompts me to share my own grading method: Procrastigrading.  While the word is a portmanteau of “procrastinating” and “grading,” I do not mean “put off grading indefinitely.”  Instead, give yourself a one-week deadline for each assignment (quizzes, exams, papers, anything), and begin…

On Friendship

If you enjoy maxims or reflecting on how to sustain healthy friendships, then Timothy Billings’ translation of Matteo Ricci’s On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince (Columbia UP, 2009) will appeal to you.  Written in 1595, the book helped Ricci — a native of Macerata, Italy — make friends and (as Billings says in his extensive and…

Never Say Die: A Mix for Job-Seekers

Inspired by a tweet and then a blog post from Natalia Cecire, this mix is intended for those of you on the academic job-market — but I hope it provides some encouragement for anyone out there looking for work. 1) Respect ARETHA FRANKLIN (1967) If this isn’t the greatest cover song of all time, I don’t…